Tucked away in the southern tip of Quintana Roo lies Bacalar, a tranquil town offering a treasure trove of natural beauty, history, and cultural charm. Known primarily for its stunning Lagoon of Seven Colors, Bacalar is one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets. But this lagoon is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you are thinking is bacalar worth visiting then the answer is: Hell Yes! It’s totally worth it!
Here is a Bacalar Mexico travel guide where we will talk about 20 reasons why your next vacation should be to Bacalar, Mexico:
1. Lagoon of Seven Colors (Laguna de Siete Colores)
This massive freshwater lagoon covers approximately 42 km and is known for its mesmerizing shades of blue and green, resulting from the varying depths of the water and the lakebed’s composition. Rich in natural beauty, it’s a haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts. You can easily reach here by booking a Puerto Aventuras boat charter by H2OH!
Cenotes are naturally formed sinkholes that are often connected to underground water sources. Bacalar is home to multiple cenotes, each with unique structures and atmospheres. Cenote Azul, for instance, is one of the deepest in the Yucatán Peninsula, while Cenote Esmeralda is renowned for its vibrant greenish-blue hue. These are perfect spots for a refreshing dip and offer fantastic snorkeling opportunities.
3. Historic Fort of San Felipe
Standing tall since 1733, the Fort of San Felipe is a silent sentinel that has witnessed the shifting sands of time in Bacalar. With its robust stone walls and strategic position overlooking the Lagoon of Seven Colors, it stands as a testament to the region’s rich history. The fort was originally built as a bulwark against the marauding pirates who saw Bacalar’s beauty and wealth as prizes to be plundered.
Today, visitors to the fort can trace the steps of brave soldiers and visualize the intense battles that once raged there. Within its walls, the museum presents a chronological journey, detailing the various events, cultures, and challenges that shaped the region. And from its ramparts, one can soak in sweeping views of the lagoon.
4. Sailing Adventures
The calm and vast expanse of the lagoon makes it perfect for sailing. Local operators often offer tours on traditional wooden sailboats, giving visitors a serene experience of the lagoon’s beauty, complemented by stories and legends.
The best way to sail is by contacting us at H2OH so that we can provide you with our Akumal boat rental services and you can enjoy it to the fullest!
Bacalar is a haven for avian enthusiasts. The town’s unique ecosystems, marked by the lagoon’s waters and the surrounding green expanses, serve as magnets for a plethora of bird species. Kingfishers darting to catch their prey, herons majestically standing at the water’s edge, and flocks of migratory birds painting the sky are common sights. Whether one is just beginning their birdwatching journey or is a seasoned enthusiast with a keen eye, Bacalar offers a symphony of sights and sounds. The area’s diverse habitats ensure that every visit, irrespective of the season, promises new and delightful sightings.
6. Delicious Local Cuisine
The gastronomy in Bacalar is a blend of Mayan traditions and contemporary influences. Seafood, particularly fresh fish from the lagoon, dominates the menus. Pescado a la talla, a grilled fish dish marinated in achiote and chili, is a must-try.
7. Relaxed Atmosphere
In an age where urbanization and digitization dominate, many destinations have succumbed to the fast-paced and often chaotic rhythms of modern tourism. However, Bacalar remains an oasis of tranquility. Here, the ticking of clocks seems to slow down, replaced by the gentle lapping of the lagoon’s waters or the rustle of leaves in the breeze. The town’s streets aren’t flooded with hurried tourists, but rather, dotted with leisurely strolling locals and travelers sharing stories and smiles. Bacalar provides a refuge from the relentless pressures of everyday life, allowing visitors to truly disconnect from their worries and reconnect with themselves. Immersing oneself in the town’s serene surroundings and embracing its easy-going lifestyle can be a soulful journey of rejuvenation.
8. Water Sports
The Lagoon of Seven Colors is not just a feast for the eyes but also a playground for water enthusiasts. Its pristine, crystal-clear waters provide unmatched visibility, making it a prime location for a variety of aquatic adventures. Imagine kayaking through waters so clear that you can observe the aquatic life below, or balancing on a paddleboard while being surrounded by multiple hues of blue and green. The calmness of the lagoon also ensures safety, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced adventurers. For those seeking a bit more adrenaline, windsurfing on the gentle breezes of the lagoon can be both thrilling and meditative. With the sky above, the water below, and nature all around, water sports in Bacalar become experiences that resonate deep within.
9. Cultural Festivals
Bacalar is a town steeped in history, traditions, and cultural pride. Throughout the year, its calendar is punctuated with festivals that are vibrant tapestries of music, dance, and rituals. These aren’t just events; they are heartfelt celebrations of the community’s shared heritage. Traditional dances narrate tales of bygone eras, while local musicians fill the air with melodies that have echoed through generations. Participating in these festivals offers visitors a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of a local, understanding their joys, their reverence for traditions, and their communal bonds. From the colorful attire to the mouth-watering delicacies, every aspect of these festivals provides a genuine glimpse into the soul of Bacalar.
In a world where travel can often be an expensive affair, Bacalar emerges as a refreshing exception. The town’s commitment to maintaining its authenticity means it hasn’t given in to the high prices that often accompany commercialized tourism. Instead, visitors are pleasantly surprised to find that their budgets stretch further here. Charming accommodations that don’t compromise on comfort, delectable local cuisines that satiate both palate and pocket and a plethora of activities that are both enriching and economical ensure that a trip to Bacalar is value-packed. It’s a testament to the fact that priceless experiences don’t always come with a hefty price tag.
11. Eco-Friendly Stays
Many lodgings in Bacalar emphasize sustainability, offering travelers eco-friendly accommodations ranging from boutique hotels to hostels.
These ancient microbial mats are among the oldest living organisms on Earth. Bacalar is one of the few places globally where stromatolites can still be found in freshwater, making it an essential site for both scientists and curious travelers.
13. Proximity to Other Attractions
While Bacalar itself is a gem, its location makes it convenient to explore other attractions like the Mayan ruins of Kohunlich and Dzibanché, which offer a glimpse into the ancient Mayan civilization.
14. Mystical Sunrise and Sunset
Due to its positioning and the nature of the lagoon, sunrises and sunsets in Bacalar are truly a spectacle. The reflection of the sky on the multi-hued waters makes for an ethereal experience.
As a tourist, you may think is Bacalar, Mexico safe? Well, generally, Bacalar is considered safe for tourists. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and the town has a peaceful ambiance. As always, tourists should exercise regular caution.
16. Warm Locals
Bacalar is not just a location; it’s a living community with deep-rooted traditions and a palpable sense of pride. The town’s residents see Bacalar as a reflection of their collective identity, history, and heritage. When visitors arrive, they are not just treated as tourists but are welcomed as guests into a community home.
The genuine warmth of Bacalar’s people is evident in their everyday gestures, from a friendly nod on the street to enthusiastic recommendations on the best local spots to visit. Such hospitality often turns a mere trip into an enriching journey. Stories shared over meals, unexpected invitations to local events, and the authentic smiles of the townsfolk collectively create lasting memories for every traveler.
Rapidos in Bacalar is Mother Nature’s answer to the thrill-seeking water adventurer and the peace-loving soul alike. These channels, formed by the convergence of different water currents, have faster-moving waters than the surrounding lagoon. The journey through a rapido offers an exhilarating experience akin to river rafting, yet with a gentler touch.
As travelers let themselves drift with the flow, they’re enveloped by the serene ambiance of the surrounding mangroves, which stand tall and whisper stories of ancient times. The water itself, with its gentle force, caresses the body, providing a therapeutic sensation. It’s nature’s own spa, combining adventure with relaxation.
18. Local Workshops
Bacalar is a canvas of rich traditions and artistry. To truly appreciate the depth of its culture, visitors often partake in local workshops that open windows to the town’s soul. These workshops are not just classes; they are experiences. Led by local artisans and experts, they provide a hands-on opportunity to delve deep into age-old crafts and culinary arts.
Whether molding clay into traditional designs, painting using ancient techniques, or learning the intricate steps of Mayan recipes, participants connect deeply with Bacalar’s essence. The workshops become platforms for cultural exchange, fostering bonds between locals and visitors, and allowing travelers to take home not just souvenirs but skills and stories.
19. Untouched Nature
While the Lagoon of Seven Colors is undeniably Bacalar’s shimmering jewel, the town’s natural beauty extends far beyond its shores. Encircling Bacalar is a tapestry of lush forests, teeming with life and echoing with the whispers of the wild. These woods are a sanctuary for myriad species of birds, animals, and insects, many of which are unique to the region.
For those with a penchant for adventure and a thirst to experience nature in its raw form, numerous trails wind through these forests, revealing secrets at every bend. Guided excursions allow travelers to understand the intricate web of life in these woods, highlighting the importance of conservation. Every step in this verdant expanse is a step closer to nature’s heart, where the symphony of life plays on uninterrupted.
20. Bacalar’s Artisanal Market
This market provides a platform for local artisans to showcase their craftsmanship. From handmade jewelry to intricately designed pottery, it’s an ideal place to pick up authentic souvenirs.
Bacalar offers a mix of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and rich history. Its serene lagoon, vibrant local life, and a myriad of activities make it an irresistible destination for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience in Mexico. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, nature lover, or someone looking for relaxation, Bacalar promises an unforgettable journey.
As you plan your trip don’t forget to book Riviera Maya boat rental services with us at H2OH! Contact us right away for the best deals!